The struggle is real when getting strict parents to agree to a festival – we’ve got all the tips you might need to get them on board!
As the oldest child, I constantly had to deal with overprotective parents who needed to know where I was at all times. So, naturally, getting them to allow me to go to a three-day music festival out in the desert wasn’t a piece of cake. Through the years, I learned some tricks to help make them feel more at ease while I was off at a festival.
Some parents are more worried about transportation, others about where you’re staying, and yet others about the festival itself. With most of the stories they see in the news about the negative aspects of festivals, it’s up to you to show your parents the positives. Harp on the safety features above all else, and show them that you are responsible enough to handle the fun of a music festival. From years of experience, here’s my foolproof advice to get your parents on board, and maybe even wanting to go themselves!
Five Ways To Convince Your Parents To Let You Attend a Festival
#1: Highlight the safety features of the hotel, camp, and festival.
When it comes down to it your parents really just want you to be safe. I’ve found that the best way to convince them to let me go somewhere is by doing some research and finding out all the safety details. Choose a hotel in a safe spot (not a motel in the middle of a bad area), and show your parents different restaurants and stores around the hotel to prove that the area is safe.
For the festival itself, figure out the details of the medical and guest service centers. Show them the list of prohibited items, and assure them that security is tight, not letting any dangerous items through the gates. Most festivals have security and medical all over, ensuring that all guests are safe, healthy, and happy!
#2: Show responsibility! Before you even ask them about the festival, figure out logistics like costs and transportation.
If you show that you are smart and responsible, able to handle traveling without a parent, they are much more likely to trust you to attend a festival. Make a list of all of the possible costs you might incur for the festival, including gas money, flights, parking, food, lodging, shuttles, outfits, and whatever else.
Also, figure out the best route to get to the festival, whether it be by car, train, or plane. Presenting to parents with a full plan rather than “what ifs” is always a better move. If you can give them solid numbers and plans, they know exactly what they’re agreeing to.
#3: Demonstrate your passion! Whether it be for music, art, or friends – why do you want to go so badly?
My parents are definitely more easily swayed when they can tell I’m really dying to go see a particular artist or hang friends I haven’t seen in too long. Play them the songs you’ve obsessed over and show them videos of the artists you want to see! If it’s appropriate, show them the promo video for the festival and let them see for themselves how incredible it truly would be.
When choosing artists to show your parents, pick something that they might enjoy (maybe ODESZA, not Excision), so they can connect with you. When they see your face light up talking about the artists you want to see, they’ll want to give you that experience!
#4: Assure your parents that the friends you are going with are responsible and that you will look out for each other!
Parents are always wary of bad influences, especially at a festival where there could be temptations. Tell your parents all of the friends that you’ll be with (and don’t lie because they’ll likely see pictures). Hopefully, you’ll be going with people who your parents know already, but if not introduce them beforehand so they feel more comfortable with who you’ll be hanging out with.
On top of that, make sure that you are going with good friends who will always look out for you at the festival and explain their good qualities to your parents. Whether that be missing a few minutes of a set to go to the bathroom or even going home early if you’re not feeling well, you need to have friends who will not hesitate to take care of you. My parents always felt better when I had some guy friends traveling with us to protect us if anything went awry. If you’re a girl, I recommend traveling with some guys as well!
#5: Use it as a reward for something that you’ve accomplished!
Music festivals are life-changing, inspiring, and unbelievably fun experiences, so show your parents that you deserve to experience one for yourself. You might’ve just gotten straight As, had an awesome sports season, or written an amazing piece for the school paper. Maybe you got into the college of your dreams or graduated high school! Whatever your most recent accomplishment might be, use it to show your parents that you are hard-working and responsible. Most parents will want to give you a nice gift of congratulations, so make that gift the best possible thing ever – a music festival!